October 16, 2003

Up Close & Personal with Chardonnay Poole

Oct. 16, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - As a senior, team captain Chardonnay Poole has led the women's soccer team to a 7-3-4 record. Due to her constant hard work and perseverance, she helped clinch the National Title in 2001 and a trip to the NCAA finals in 2002. This veteran soccer player had plans to play with the WUSA before its folding, but has now made new goals accordingly. She shared with us some thoughts and feelings about college, soccer, and future plans.

Q: How does it feel to be in your last year of college?

A: "I'm excited to start focussing on graduate school because I've focussed on soccer for 21 years. It's sad that the WUSA folded because it's a missed opportunity but it opens up other options I'm excited to explore."

Q: Do you hope to someday play professional soccer?

A: "I don't know if I want to play competitive soccer at such a high level right now. I look forward to focussing on my studies. Maybe in a couple years I will miss it and want to play again, but right now I'm excited to start a new life with new options. I'll go to graduate school, take a couple years off to work and move down South and get an apartment."

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time that SCU students might find interesting?

A: "I have a pen pal on death row. It's really interesting because it's the field I want to go into, forensic psychology. I also have two mentoring jobs right now. One is working with high school students, helping them get ready for college and being a role model for them. The other is helping younger children whose parents have been incarcerated. These are both great experiences."

Q: What do you and your pen pal talk about?

A: "He is very bright. He talks about life before and he was sent to prison and we have normal conversations. It's interesting to hear what his life was like. People expect him to be crazy but he's not. I eventually want to get into the minds of criminals in my field of study."

Q: Do you like watching movies like Hannibal?

A: "Hannibal is a little disgusting. I really like Law and Order and CSI"

Q: What's your favorite soccer memory?

A: "There are so many, but probably winning the National Championship. You can't really beat that.

Q: Any funny stories?

A: "My freshman year we had fitness tests and we had to run two miles in 12 minutes. So I was a freshman, freaking out, trying really hard, I'm going to make it, I'm running, and all of a sudden one of my teammates Danielle Slaton starts saying 'come on come on.' She pushes me and I'm completely exhausted so my legs kind of die right in front of the finish line and I didn't make it because I fell. Everyone thinks it's really funny so I always tell the freshmen coming in don't worry if you don't pass it because it can't get worse than me."

Q: Is there someone you look up to? A: "I've always looked up to Kylie Bivens who went here a while ago. She went to my high school so she was kind of like my role model growing up because I would watch her in high school and then she came here and now she's on the National Team. So I guess more of a soccer role model just because I followed in her footsteps.

Q: What about a life role model?

A: "I'd have to say my mom because I've learned a lot from her and more and more I realize how much I'm becoming like her. It's scary. I always think of her like gosh mom, but then I see little things I do and I'm exactly like her. She's gotten me to where I am today just being very persistent."

Q: What advice do you have for freshman just entering their new college and a new life of freedom?

A: "I would say to have fun but at the same time try to explore your different options. For me it was like I didn't have the chance or opportunity to be in all kinds of clubs and volunteering. It's a really good experience. Also, focus on your grades because I wish I had done better my freshman year because it would have helped me so I don't have try so hard now to get my grades up for graduate school."

Q: Do you have any regrets looking back on your years at Santa Clara?

A: "No, I don't think so. I've had such a different experience each year that it's made me just be ready to handle anything. I've been through a lot of hard times but it's made me stronger and I can accomplish more than I realized."

Q: What do you want to be remembered as?

A: "I'm not the most skilled soccer player, I guess you could say. We have so many players on our teams that are really skillful. I think what has gotten me through my four years is knowing that having the heart to do whatever you're doing, whether it be a sport or something else, knowing that you're doing something you want to do not something someone's making you do. Being known that I was a really hard worker and it didn't come easy to me but I was still successful in what I did."